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Birth of the Navy (1909-1914)
HMCS Rainbow

One of the Naval Service of Canada's first two ships, HMCS Rainbow's duties included the training of sailors and maintaining a naval presence on Canada's Pacific coast. Small and inexpensive to operate, Rainbow was well suited to these purposes, but limited budgets still constrained the ship's activities.

HMCS Rainbow "Cleared for Action"
HMCS Rainbow "Cleared for Action"

This photograph shows Rainbow, possibly on training exercises, in the harbour at Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

"Clearing for action," the traditional term for preparing the ship for battle, involved clearing away flammable and fragile materials like hammocks and movable wooden bulkheads, removing equipment that could restrict the field of fire of the ship's weapons, and preparing to treat casualties. Despite the original caption on the photograph, it more likely shows Rainbow preparing for firing practice, since only the ship's forward gun (right) appears to have a crew.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19890167-003

HMCS Rainbow Arriving at Esquimalt, British Columbia, 1910
HMCS Rainbow's Officers Greeting Dignitaries
HMS Shearwater and HMCS Rainbow at Esquimalt, 7 November 1910
Gun Practice aboard HMCS Rainbow
Mess Deck, HMCS Rainbow, around 1910
Walter Hose, Commander of HMCS Rainbow
Ship's Wheel, HMCS Rainbow
HMCS Rainbow Sailors and Capstan
Naval Service of Canada Recruitment Poster
HMCS Rainbow "Cleared for Action"
14-inch Mark IX Torpedo